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Aphex Twin keeping up his amazing standard
on 18 April 2003
As with most reviews you find here you get fans of a genre of music or an artist in particular raving on about how good the CD is they have listened to far to many times, and I am going to do just that.
There was something special about this album even before it came out. It was well advertised and Warp records were raving on about it a while before its wide release. Take a look at the website, [...] to see the effort that has been undertaken in promoting it and to get an idea of what you may be letting yourself in for if you choose to buy it.
It is hard to say anything about the album in simple terms, as its complexity is so profound making it a generally difficult listen at first. I don’t really class this double disc set as an album at all, more an experience, a ride you can undertake for 100 minutes: a heart pounding, confused, terrifying yet calming adventure if your alert and awake enough and can be bothered to give it your attention.
Over the two discs it could be said there are two themes or atmospheres that are both completely separable but compliment each other greatly and give the album an overall feeling. The two extremes being ‘Avril 14th’ and ‘Penty Harmonium’, ambient, instrumental and classical, compared with ‘Vordhosbn’ and ‘Cock/Ver 10’ which are a fusion of a ridiculous amount of sounds to make, if you have to give it a name; something close to drum and bass, and are the type of track that give the album its vast depth.
I have owned this album for just over year I and I have just began to see the extent of, put simply now, how good it is. It is not like the Aphex Twin we know; yet it is recognisable as something that has always been looming in his previous music. Aphex Twin supposedly makes his music for himself and his friends. This is almost Frank Zappa-esque in the way it offers more than just a listen: it is an experience that has been given real time in production and if you listen to Zappa’s ‘Lumpy Gravy’ you may see some similarities with this album (a strange comparison I know. No! Lets make that a passing comment.)
Overall its not an easy listen, with tracks like Gwarek 2 which starts with what sounds like a metal bar being walked along a metal fence followed what can only be described as screams of intense pain then a warped ping bong ball zipping around a large hall: the ping pong ball transforming into a group of screeching bats and flying away. Yes its acid induced, drugs in general compliment the album but the it is more a representation of drugs themselves, which is maybe where the title (Drukqs/Drugs?) comes from.
If you’re into any Warp records stuff get this, if you’re a real Aphex Twin fan you already have it but if you don’t like weird music or only enjoy conventional dance I wouldn’t bother. There’s far to much to say about Drukqs but I imagine it gives everybody different listen and they form their own nostalgia from but that doesn’t dispute the fact that its bloody brilliant, maybe even, dare I say it, Genius.